7 things to look for in an illustrator
Finding the perfect illustrator is one of the most important components of bringing a story to life. Both parties have to be on the same accord not only on the business aspect of the partnership but also the creative. It helps to make the process of selecting the ideal candidate easier if you are clear about the vision you have for the book and are able to communicate that idea to the illustrator effectively. Below are some tips to look for when searching for an illustrator.
1.) An up to date portfolio- A portfolio is the first sign that an illustrator is serious about his or her work. It also allows you to save time by viewing the style of the artist prior to engaging in any details.
2.) Availability – Some illustrators work exclusively as an artist, some have a family to take care of and can only work on the weekends. Whatever the situation, learning the artist’s availability is vital in deciding if you will be able to work with them or not. If you have a deadline, verifying that their lifestyle will allow them to get the job done is necessary.
3.) Location – The illustrator for my first published book Up, Up in the Air is located half way across the world and about 5 hours ahead of my time zone. This was challenging at first because we were rarely able to communicate without waiting a few hours for a response. As an author you have to find what works best for you. Do you prefer a local based artist that you can meet and discuss ideas? Check local art schools and academies to see if any illustrator fits your needs.
4.) Good Communicator– Relationships, whether business or personal, success rely heavily on both parties ability to communicate effectively. The illustrator you chose needs to be willing to take direction when necessary, be open to alterations on their creations and overall be able to verbalize their feelings while completing the work.
5.) Cooperative– Working with another person can be very stressful but nothing takes away from the experience more than someone not willing to make the process as smooth as possible. Seek out someone that is willing to work with your budget, respectful of your time and makes the business aspect of the partnership such as contracts and payments easy. It will make the process more enjoyable and lead you both to create a wonderful product at the end.
6.) Great Attitude – Positive energy is infectious. Unfortunately so is negative energy. Working with an artist that has a great attitude can be inspiring and can be just what you need on days that you are feeling down.
7.) Goal oriented – I believe the best partnership happens when both parties have the same goal. Whether you both want to be published, if you both want to be financially successful or if you just want exposure it’s a good idea to understand what ideally the artist would like to happen at the end of the collaboration.
These are just a few qualities that you can be on the look at for when searching for the best candidate. With so many illustrators available online it’s just a matter of having clear focus, determination, and well thought out plan before you find the person who is looking for the perfect story to bring to life.
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Genre - Children’s Book, YA
Rating – G